Airbnb logo. (LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- With prices for Super Bowl tickets, airfare, and hotels in Minneapolis all high, some heading to the big game might be looking to save a little money--but alternative accommodations, like AirBnB, may not be the way to go.
Lauren Windsor is executive director of American Family Voices, which runs a campaign called AirBnB Watch. The campaign's goal is exposing commercial operators who use AirBnBs to run what are in essence illegal hotels in residential properties, but this report focused on increases in prices around the game.
"The analysis that we did looked at ten different listings and showed price increases from about almost 1,900 percent at the bottom to about 6,600 percent at the top," she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker.
Their report found that nightly rates for many AirBnB rentals jumped dramatically for the big game--for example, a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Minneapolis that normally rents for $75/night is advertising a $5,000/night rate for Super Bowl weekend.
"It's pretty hypocritical to claim that you're a mom-and-pop supporting struggling families and communities when you're charging $5,000 a night for the Super Bowl," Windsor said.
AirBnB didn't offer an official statement, but forwarded information about a surge in bookings in the Twin Cities area once the Patriots and Eagles were established as the participants.
They said there were over 500 AirBnB bookings to the area on Sunday and Monday--representing a ten-time surge over recent daily activity--and that the average price of a room per night in the Twin Cities during Super Bowl week was $173, or 2.4 times the usual rate.
The company said 15 percent of the bookings were from guests in New England states, while 18 percent were from guests in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
They said they'll release a "comprehensive economic impact report" prior to the game.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports